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Bangkok prepares swab hubs, rules easing for city reopening



PHOTO: Bangkok is preparing the city for reopening, including swab hubs. (via Mufid Majnun for Unsplash)

As restrictions ease and Thailand attempts a November 1 reopening, Bangkok is hard at work preparing to welcome back international tourism to the city. Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang says he intends to follow along with official announcements as they are ratified in the Royal Gazette.

The capital city is creating so-called swab hubs to be prepared to efficiently test mass numbers of international travellers coming back into Thailand. City Hall officials agree with the governor that the city will follow procedures and restrictions matching those the government officially approves.

Things like curfew being shortened or removed will be in line with national decrees. And Bangkok, with the highest number of infections in the country, will make a point to try to limit the spread of Covid-19 from locals to international travellers with things like screening points set up around the city.

Unlike Phuket’s screening programme at hotels, Bangkok plans to make these swab hubs to mass test tourists and then quarantine them at a hotel until results from the RT-PCR tests come back. This, along with continued vaccination and mass testing locals are hoped to keep new Covid-19 cases under control and allow the city to achieve the goal of reopening nightlife, entertainment venues, bars, pubs, and nightclubs cautiously on December 1.

The CCSA has set its goals on limiting transmissions for vulnerable groups and increasing public faith in living safely with Covid-19. They also say the plans for the new Thailand Plus app will handle contract tracing as well as replacing the certificate of entry, speeding that process from 3 to 6 days to just 1 to 3 days for a fully vaccinated person to be allowed to travel to Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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